Revisiting resilience in health systems research – podcast

‘Stories of Resilience – Local Lives and Health Systems’ is a podcast series from ReBUILD for Resilience. Each episode examines a different resilience-related topic, with a particular focus on fragile and shock-prone settings.

In this episode – ‘Revisiting resilience in health systems research’ – Professor Sophie Witter and Dr Kim Ozano speak to Dr Sushil Baral of HERD International and Dr Seye Abimbola [opens new tab] from the University of Sydney, who share their experiences and reflections on building resilience in health systems. The discussion navigates the complexities of resilience as a concept, emphasising the importance of community engagement, co-creation, and adopting a learning approach to health systems strengthening. The panel explores the balance between self-reliance and demanding accountability from government systems, addressing the power dynamics and the necessity of a fair distribution of responsibilities across levels of governance. 



The transcript of this podcast can be read here.


The speakers

The series is produced by The SCL Agency [opens new tab] with Dr Kim Ozano hosting each instalment. In this episode Kim chatted with:

Professor Sophie WitterInstitute of Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University

Sophie has worked in health and development for the past 35 years, starting with development roles at Save the Children and moving on to academia. Much of her work has focused on reducing financial barriers to accessing health care – how can people get the essential care they need without having to make terrible sacrifices? – but she has also worked on many other important health system topics, such as incentivising health care workers and health system strengthening more generally. All of her research is oriented towards implementation – how to make systems work better for people, especially those who are most disadvantaged.


Dr Sushil BaralHERD International

Sushil comes from a remote hill district in Nepal and brings more than two decades’ of experience in health systems, public health policy, and implementation research, with a particular focus on South Asia. His contributions have significantly impacted national and global health systems, policies, and public health agendas. He emphasises evidence-based practices tailored to local contexts, reflecting a dedication to global health research excellence. Sushil’s academic journey highlights innovative problem-solving and substantial contributions to health systems, policies, and disaster response in fragile and shock-prone settings in low- and middle-income countries.


Dr Seye Abimbola – University of Sydney, Australia

Seye is a health systems researcher from Nigeria. There he worked at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on initiatives to strengthen the Primary Health Care system across the country to help it deliver integrated health services to communities. Seye has also been involved in research on how decentralisation affects health system performance and how community health committees influence and support health services in their own communities. Seye is currently based at the University of Sydney in Australia, where his teaching and research focus on knowledge practices in global health, health system governance, and the adoption and scale-up of health system innovations.


The Stories of Resilience podcast series

 More episodes will follow soon.